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kollur mookambika temple & Vidyarambham Ritual

Kollur Mookambika temple - Vidyarambham

The Sri Kollur Mookambika Temple, located 22 kms from kalavady Farms, is renowned for its significance in celebrating the auspicious ceremony of Vidyarambham, which marks the initiation of education. This temple is dedicated to Goddess Saraswathi, the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom. Nestled at the base of the Western Ghats in southern Karnataka, it holds a special place in the hearts of devotees. Vidyarambham at Kollur Mookambika Temple will commence from 04:00 AM on Vijayadasami day. Mookambika Temple in Karnataka attracts thousands of parents from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka who bring their children to perform the Vidyarambham ritual on Vijayadasami day. The ceremony is so popular that all most all television channels in Kerala telecast the Vidyarambham ceremony live.

Vidyarambham (Sanskrit: विद्यारम्भ, romanized: Vidyārambham, lit. ‘commencement of studies’), also rendered Akshara Abhyasam (Sanskrit: अक्षर अभ्यासम, romanized: Akṣara Abhyāsam, lit.

Vijaya Dashami is not just a symbol of the triumph of good over evil but also a time for new beginnings and positive endeavors. One of the most important customs during this period is Ezhuthiniruthu or Vidyarambham, often referred to as Aksharabhyasam, which marks the initiation of a child’s education journey. During this ritual, toddlers inscribe their first letter on a bed of rice and sand. This significant event is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati, the deity of wisdom, and typically takes place on the final day of Navratri or Vijayadashami.

Kalavady farms is proud to have been hosting guests from Kerala , Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh who visit Kollur Mookambika Temple for Vidyarambham. Since most of the good properties in Kollur gets easily sold out or due to poor quality of some of the lodges which are very bad in maintaining hygiene in and around Kollur, we caution you to double check availability of rooms in Kollur before visiting . Kalavady farms is located 22 kms before Kollur temple on the route to kollur and very close to Mookambika road railiway station (3 kms).Due to the convivence of  being very close to Byndoor town, Mookambika road railway station, being center point between Murudeshwara temple and Kollur temple, many tourists visiting Kollur find Kalavady farms a ideal place to stay due to its comfort,homely feeling and nature all around the property, and it also comes with a swimming pool.

While many families visit temples on Vijaya Dashami to partake in this event, Kollur Mookambika Temple in Karnataka stands out as a prominent destination for this cherished tradition.

The Vidyarambham ritual, as the name implies, signifies the formal commencement of a child’s journey into the world of knowledge and writing. This ceremony is typically conducted for children aged between two to five years, and it is considered an auspicious way to initiate their educational path.

The steps of the ritual are as follows:

  1. Children are prepared for the ceremony by taking a bath and dressing in new traditional attire.
  2. The child usually sits on the lap of a guru or priest, or the eldest person in the family.
  3. The ritual commences with the writing of the mantra “Om Hari Sree Ganapathye Namaha” in a tray filled with rice. The child’s index finger is guided to write this mantra, often in their mother tongue, on both sand and rice. Each of these writings holds its unique significance.
  4. Om Hari Sree Ganapathye Namaha is then written with gold (coin or any golden accessory to signify purity) on the child’s tongue. This is said to mark the presence of Goddess Saraswati on the tongue of the child.*The rice is then used for making kheer.

    *Stationery items like slates and pencils are also distributed to other children after the ceremony.

According to Acharya Manoj Shrivastva, a senior Vastu consultant and astrologer, Vidyarambham carries special importance in South India as it marks the initiation of a child’s learning journey. This ritual is similar to the Ayudh Puja observed in the northern part of India, but it involves distinct rituals that symbolize various objectives. Writing on sand signifies practice, writing on rice grains symbolizes the acquisition of knowledge leading to prosperity, and writing with gold on a child’s tongue invokes the grace of Goddess Saraswati, which is crucial for obtaining true knowledge.

What is the story behind Vidyarambham?

The ceremony termed as Vidyarambham – ‘Vidya’ meaning knowledge and ‘arambham’ meaning beginning- is performed on the last day of Navratri puja. The mantra, ´Om Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah’ is said to signify all 51 devanagari letters that form the embodiment of the Naadarupini devi- the Goddess.
“Om Hari Sree Ganapataye Namah Avighnamasthu” On the auspicious occasion of Vijayadasami, there occurs the age old tradition where the young children. On the auspicious occasion of Vijayadasami, there occurs the age old tradition where the young children are initiated formally into the world of letters by reciting this sanskrit mantra, writing it on sand- symbolizing practice, on rice grains- symbolizing the acquisition of knowledge leading to prosperity and by writing the mantra on the tongue of the child- symbolising the wealth of knowledge. The ceremony termed as Vidyarambham – ‘Vidya’ meaning knowledge and ‘arambham’ meaning beginning- is performed on the last day of Navratri puja. The mantra, ´Om Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah’ is said to signify all 51 devanagari letters that form the embodiment of the Naadarupini devi- the Goddess of Sound. The mantra can be translated in two ways according to scholars. In the first version, Hari represents the Paramatma or the lord of the universe. Sree represents Parasakti or the goddess of prosperity. Ganapati represents the soul of the Universe. Om denotes the pranava mantra that arises from Parasakti. In essence, the mantra is projected as a complete form of worship.

Traditionally the principle behind ‘Hari Sree’ being written on the tongues of infants with honey tipped gold by the guru involves a silent prayer – “May whatever this child speaks become as valuable as gold.” This also invokes the grace of the goddess of learning and the god of beginnings for the child to continue the journey of knowledge without obstacles. The other version of the mantra interprets the meaning as ‘Let us bow our heads to the master of ‘hariganam‘ that includes vowels and ‘sriganam’ that consists of consonants in the alphabetical group. Today Vidyarambham is seen to be practised by many, irrespective of caste or religion, with slight variations in rituals. Although knowledge in itself is invaluable, the tradition has it that the guru holding the child’s hand, guides him in writing his first letters. The belief behind this is that knowledge can attain full bloom only when it flows through the teacher. The teacher represents the supreme principle of God. Inherent in this practice is also the concept of Sharanagati—total surrender towards the supreme. Also involved is a commitment from the teacher to provide unconditional support to his disciple to overcome hurdles in the path to proficiency.

Vidyarambham at the Panachikkad Dakshina Mookambi temple. Photo Sivaprasad/Mathrubhumi Another valuable point has it that the index finger represents our ego. We use the index finger to point out the faults of others, forgetting the other fingers directed back at us indicating that our mistakes may be several times worse. It is this index finger that is offered to the teacher, holding which, he helps the child write his first letters, introducing him into the world of knowledge. Here there is a resolve involved to give up the burden of ego to achieve true knowledge and wisdom. We learn through these traditions, the significance to always remain a beginner, with alertness, patience and enthusiasm and to approach life as a book from which we can constantly learn. The rituals also convey the idea of having respect for everything, bowing down with humility to all, ever with the heart of a novice who is eager to learn from anything around him. When we understand the underlying oneness in every being, compassion will arise in our hearts. When this feeling of empathy expresses itself, we realise the conviction to help people who experience sorrow in this world. This eventually would enable each human being to strive towards creating universal happiness.

One of our guests recently shared their experience at Kalavady Farms during their visit to the Kollur Mookambika Temple for their child’s Vidyarambham ceremony. They found the process to be quite straightforward. To complete this ritual, you can simply walk in and finish it in under 15 minutes. It’s essential to arrive at the temple between 6 am to 7 am, or at the latest, before 12 pm. Upon entering the temple grounds, you can purchase a Vidyarambham token, which costs around Rs. 200 (please verify the exact amount).

Within the temple, there is a mandapam located to the left where all participants gather. The procedure is conducted in batches, typically comprising 10-15 children. Parents, whether the father or mother, can assist the child if they are comfortable with writing. A priest will chant the mantra, and everyone, including the children, will repeat it and write it in a tray filled with rice. They will provide the tray, rice, and other necessary materials. Towards the end, a gold ring is used to write on the child’s tongue. Feel free to capture videos and photos during the ceremony, and older family members can help the child write a few letters.

It’s worth noting that there is an option for a private, one-on-one chanting ceremony, which may come at a slightly higher cost. In this case, a priest will be exclusively arranged for your family, allowing both parents to participate alongside the child, and even the entire family can be part of this exclusive puja.

The entire process typically takes no more than 20 minutes. It’s customary to offer dakshina (a voluntary offering) to the priest as a token of gratitude. Afterward, you can take group photos outside the mandapa and proceed directly to the moolasthanam for darshan, completing the ritual.

IMPORTANT: Men and boys should refrain from wearing any upper body clothing when entering the temple. They are permitted inside with bare chests, but a towel can be used to cover themselves.

Kalavady Farms takes immense pride in hosting guests from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh who come to visit the Kollur Mookambika Temple for the auspicious Vidyarambham ceremony. We understand that finding suitable accommodations in Kollur can be quite challenging. Often, the good properties in the area are quickly booked, and some lodges may not meet the desired standards of hygiene.

Therefore, we strongly advise you to verify room availability in Kollur before planning your visit. Kalavady Farms, strategically located 22 kilometers prior to the Kollur Temple on the route to Kollur and in close proximity to Mookambika Road Railway Station (just 3 kilometers away), offers a convenient and comfortable alternative.

Thanks to our ideal location, we serve as a central hub between Byndoor town, Mookambika Road Railway Station, and are equidistant from the renowned Murudeshwara Temple and the Kollur Temple. Many tourists visiting Kollur have found Kalavady Farms to be the perfect place to stay. Our property is not only comfortable and inviting, but it also immerses you in the beauty of nature, with lush surroundings. Additionally, we provide the added luxury of a swimming pool to enhance your experience.

Choose Kalavady Farms for your stay, where we offer a serene and convenient haven for your pilgrimage to the Kollur Mookambika Temple, ensuring both comfort and peace during your visit. Read more about our place, Click here

Read More about Kollur Mookambika Temple

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